Retail Insider continues its Photo Tour series of Canadian malls to provide a glimpse into shopping centres which may be less frequented lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition takes us to Southcentre Mall in Calgary. The shopping centre contains approximately 190 stores over two floors and is owned/managed by Oxford Properties. In addition to the retail component, Southcentre has had several community support initiatives over the years, including adopting urban beehives in August 2020 and hosting autism-friendly Santa events for children.
Southcentre spans more than 1.1 million square feet and the Hudson’s Bay Company is the main anchor tenant, with the four junior tenants being Sport Chek, H&M, Sporting Life, and Old Navy.
History of Southcentre Mall
Southcentre opened in 1974 and it unveiled a north-wing expansion in 1988. A 234,000-square-foot anchor space for Eaton’s was being built just prior to the retailer’s bankruptcy in 1999, and Sears Canada subsequently secured the space which it occupied until its demise in 2018. Following Sears’ closure, a portion of the anchor space was briefly occupied by Showhome Furniture. A ground-floor subdivision of the anchor space was announced by Oxford Properties in July 2020 which saw Winners, Dollarama, and PetSmart come to occupy the demised space.
Breaking Up Southcentre Mall
In order to make this photo tour manageable, each floor of the shopping centre has been divided into two tour zones (north and south halves).
Lower Level North at Southcentre Mall
Starting at the top (or the north) section of the lower level, the key tenants are Shoppers Drug Mart and Sporting Life — which was the first in western Canada and opened in October 2016. Both retailers are two-story retail spaces with entrances on both floors.
Other retailers in this section of Southcentre include GNC, The Source, Cleo, Garage, Analog Coffee, Mobile Q, T. Kettle, Rocky Mountain Soap Company, QE Home | Quilts Etc., Tommy Gun’s, Urban Kids, Charm Diamond Centres, Jersey City, Just Cozy, Laura, Bellissima, Foot Locker, Below the Belt, Twisted Goods, Merle Norman, Roots, Labels, Treehouse Toys, Call It Spring, and Drops of Gratitude.
At the eastern point of the lower level is Retail Concept ‘Collab’ which opened in July 2020 and features exclusively-Canadian products.
With the departure of big box and department retailers like Target, Eaton’s, and Sears Canada from the Canadian retail marketplace, landlords needed to strategize to fill vacated anchor retail spaces. With the July 2020 announcement by Oxford Properties to redevelop the vacated Sears Canada space, Dollarama officially opened in November 2020 and PetSmart opened in April 2021. Winners is scheduled to open soon.
Lower Level South at Southcentre Mall
The south side of the lower level is part of the original shopping centre build from the 1970s. It has been renovated over the years to make it seamlessly flow with the northern addition.
The main tenants for the south section of Southcentre are Sport Chek (which also extends up to the second level) and a single-level Old Navy store.
VRKADE is a concept which opened in August 2020 and offers unique virtual reality experiences specializing in both educational programs and experiential entertainment. The cutting-edge technology offers virtual escape rooms, arcade games, educational camps/field trips, and other immersive experiences.
Other retailers and services in this section of the mall included Ardene, Ultimate Showcase, Purdy’s Chocolate, Bailey Nelson, Le Chateau (closing soon), Bentley, Ricki’s, The Body Shop, Claire’s Boutique, Soft Moc, Mobile Klinik, Nutrition House, Ben Moss Jewellers, Disney Store, Boathouse, LenseCrafters, The Children’s Place, Mountain Warehouse, Bootlegger Jeans, Journeys, RW&CO, Jack & Jones, IIahui, and People’s Jewellers.
Construction signage for Bailey Nelson was happened upon during our April 2021 photo tour, claiming to be opening in April 2021.
With Le Chateau announcing it was shuttering operations in October 2020, Southcentre Mall did have a location with major sale promotions in advance of vacating the space.
The southern part of Southcentre mall has three other retailers featured in Retail Insider, including:
- Alberta-Based Men’s Lifestyle Retailer ‘Adesso Man’ Eyes National Store Expansion (October 2019)
- Menswear Retailer “Tip Top” Debuts New Store Concept Amid Reinvention Expansion (April 2019)
- CRAFT Beer Market Announces Expansion (September 2017)
Upper Level North at Southcentre Mall
Moving up to the upper level of Southcentre Mall on the north end brings us to the renovated food court as well as the second level of the anchor tenants — Shoppers Drug Mart and Sporting Life.
While we are loosely calling all the other retailers with a larger footprint anchor tenants, the largest and longstanding anchor tenant in Southcentre Mall is the Hudson’s Bay Company. This location was set to receive a major overhaul in 2015.
Other retailers in this section of the mall include Sirens, Showcase, Gap, Lamose, Sephora, La Vie en Rose, Northern Reflections, Banana Republic, Laura Plus, CGY Team, Fossil, Dynamite, and Michael Hill.
The second-level food court has a seating area that capitalizes on the iconic glass façade which is prominently utilized in the shopping centre’s marketing campaigns and is highly recognizable for the centre.
A little known fact is that Southcentre Mall was Edo Japan’s first location back in 1979 and Retail Insider reported on Edo Japan’s national expansion launch in September 2017.
Upper Level South at Southcentre Mall
The final zone of the Southcentre Mall tour is the southern section of the upper level. This area includes access to the upper level of Sport Chek, as well as the vacant retail space yet to be filled after Sears Canada’s departure.
The main tenant for the zone which hasn’t been mentioned in our tour yet is H&M. This retailer does not extend to the lower level as Old Navy is below it.
Other retailers in this section of the mall include Crate and Barrel, Oak & Tonic, Thomas Jeffrey, Lululemon, Joydrop, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, American Eagle, Aritzia, Bath and Body Works, Sole to Soul, Dana Dow Jewellers, Eddie Bauer, Restoration Hardware, Blu’s, Talbots, and Lily by Lyla.
Edmonton-based Blu’s is a high-end, multi-brand womenswear retailer that has existed for more than 35 years. The retailer also operates at Banker’s Hall in downtown Calgary as well as at the Manulife Place in downtown Edmonton.
To the right of the retailer “Lily” is a vacated “Victoria’s Secret” location next to a Joydrop, MAC Cosmetics, and Michael Kors location.
This retail area also includes a Browns Shoes location which was announced in February 2017 as part of its spring expansion.
We had a very interesting photo walk around Southcentre Mall in southern Calgary and we hope you enjoyed coming along with us. Don’t forget to check out our other retail photo tours over the past few months. Thank you for taking this tour with us.
Discover More Related Retail Photo Tours From Retail Insider:
- Retail Profile: The CORE Shopping Centre in Downtown Calgary (Spring 2021)
- Retail Photo Tour: Retail at The Distillery Historic District in Toronto and What’s to Come
- Retail Photo Tour: Sainte-Catherine Street in Montreal During COVID-19
- Retail Photo Tour: McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver (February 20201)
- Photo Tour: The Ever-Changing Sherwood Park Mall in Sherwood Park, Alberta (February 2021)
- Photo Tour: Big Changes and New Retailers at Avalon Mall in St. John’s, Newfoundland (January 2021)
- Photo Tour: West Edmonton Mall Phase 1 and Phase 2 During COVID-19 (December 2020)
- Photo Tour: West Edmonton Mall Phase 3 and Phase 4 During COVID-19 (December 2020)
- Photo Tour: Guildford Town Centre in Surrey During COVID-19 (December 2020)
- Metropolis at Metrotown Photo Tour (December 2020)
- The Amazing Brentwood Photo Tour (December 2020)
- Yorkville Photo Tour (November 2020)
- Bloor Photo Tour (December 2020)
- The PATH Holiday Photo Tour (December 2020)